Published On: Mon, Jan 7th, 2013

America’s Greenest Companies

 9 Companies seeking to reduce environmental impact

America’s Greenest Companies

(HealingTalks) For four years running, Newsweek has been analyzing data on the top 500 companies in America to find out which ones are the most eco-friendly companies.

To conduct this study, Newsweek sought the help of Trucost and Sustainalytics, two of the leading environmental research organizations.

Based on the results of the study, here are nine of America’s greenest companies in 2012.

1. McGraw-Hill

McGraw-Hill is one of the leading education and financial information companies in the world. In 2011, over 95 percent of the company’s paper purchases were made through suppliers that produce paper in ways that are environmentally sustainable.

2. Hartford Financial Services Group

Hartford has installed charging stations for electric vehicles at every one of its locations in Connecticut. Also, customers are offered a discount on their insurance policies if they own a hybrid or an electric car.

The company also has a flexible work program that has allowed over 4,000 of its employees to work remotely. This has lessened the environmental impact of employees commuting back and forth to the office.

3. Cognizant

Cognizant, a world leader in business and technology, has enacted a program called “paperless offices.” Since 2008, the program has effectively lowered the company’s amount of paper consumption by around 60%.

In the same time period, the company has seen a decrease of about 32% in its per capita carbon emissions a 34% decrease in energy consumption.

Cognizant also created CGSearch, an app that allows its users to compare the air quality and pollutant levels across various cities. The EPA gave its Popular Choice Award to the app.

4. Microsoft

In the spring of 2012, Microsoft started doing something that was highly unusual – the company started charging a “carbon fee” to individual divisions. The goal was to have each division track, minimize, and ultimately offset the environmental costs that are linked to electrical use and air travel.

The initiative has been highly effective. In the company’s current fiscal year, for the first time ever it will be carbon-neutral.

5. EMC

Beginning in 2004, EMC, a leading technology equipment company, decided to move its IT services and infrastructure to “the cloud” (a virtual space). As a result, the company was able to save an enormous amount of energy.

Also, EMC’s headquarters has a special facility that treats wastewater so it can be reused for cooling, sanitation and irrigation.

6. Staples

At more than 30 of its U.S. facilities, the world’s largest office supply chain has installed solar panels to harness the power of solar energy for electricity.

Additionally, Staples installed 1,727 solar panels on the roof of its sports arena in Los Angeles. Staples also helped customers recycle millions of ink and toner cartridges in 2011.

7. Office Depot

Office Depot, a global supplier of office products and services, uses a fleet of cargo-carrying bicycles and electric vans in London to deliver most of its packages. This has reduced its carbon emissions in that city by about 60%.

8. Accenture

Accenture is a consulting firm that encourages its employees to hold virtual conferences instead of travel whenever possible.

By 2012, the carbon footprints that were being left by employee activities were reduced by 30% compared to 2007.

9. Intel

The semiconductor chip maker buys more green power than any other company in the U.S. Intel has lowered greenhouse emissions by 60% since 2007.

Also, “green performance” is one of the metrics that Intel uses to determine employee compensation.

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